Three people were shot outside of the Minnesota State Fair on Monday in one of the most recent mass shooting events. Another recent mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, left seven dead and over 20 wounded on Saturday. These shootings are unfortunately only a few of the many that have occurred over the last year.
Kids growing up in this generation are becoming desensitized to news of school shootings, and are often not surprised anymore when they see breaking news about a shooter on their Twitter timelines. They just scroll past without thinking it out of the ordinary.
Kids are growing up in the era of active shooter drills and parents having conversations with them about if and when a situation like this occurs.
This is a problem because the people who died or were injured in the incidents have names, families and experiences and are now just becoming another statistic on an article. After so many of these instances, it can be easy to forgetthe magnitude of these tragedies have on communities and families.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, 10,000 people have died from gun violence this year. The Gun Violence Archive also shows that there have been over 200 mass shootings in 2019 and over 38,000 gun violence incidents.
This begs the question, “when is enough, enough?” How many more lives must be lost to gun violence in order for action to be taken? How many kids must not return home from class until parents can send their kids to school without worry?
After a shooting, there is often a “this is the last time” mentality.
People are quick to share their opinions and thoughts on social media about the best way to stop these mass shootings. For a day or two, it seems like gun control is everything anyone is talking about, and rightly so.
However, after a few days, people seem to forget about the issue until the next incident occurs. It’s a cycle that is lacking any sort of action.
While it may be quick to say “thoughts and prayers,” they don’t do anything, and a lot of people don’t know what else they can do. But there is always a way to work towards change.
One way you can help break this chain of gun violence is by paying attention to who you are electing into office in both upcoming and local elections. What are their policies on gun control and gun violence? Look at their policies and stances and vote for who you agree with, and who will take action on them.
Even if the news of a shooting fades to the back in the hectic 24 hour news cycle, be the person who doesn’t forget. Know who represents you in your district and take the time to educate yourself on all sides of the gun control issues. Don’t just limit your views to what you want to see. Do your research and make your own conclusion. Then, take your thoughts to the ballot boxes and use your voice.
Because if nothing changes, nothing changes. If action isn’t taken, more people will die in mass shootings. No matter if you believe in strict gun control laws or looser ones, some sort of action needs to be taken, and you can be part of the solution.